JHCC

Common Basic Mistakes That Beginners Should Avoid

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On 1/30/2019 at 6:37 AM, masonred said:

I was recently having trouble keeping a fire going. The tyre had clogged up with small  pieces and dust. Simple solution to knock out. 

I have had to clean obsidian out of my tuyere, I always forget how to spell this word too... Back before I started lining the inside with satanite I had firebrick decompose and would pull very large chunks of quartz fused to charcoal and flux. The answer to that is not to have the tuyere face directly into the forge at 90 degree but having it go in at 45-60 seems to get more volume out of it and less cloggage. Satanite still decomposes over time but its also less harmful to the steel the firebrick if it gets in there. clinker will of coarse still steal all your heat out of the forge. it does not hurt to isolate the tuyere itself to get a longer life out of it, the end of mine has been melted a few times over the years.

Lava comes out of tubes at around 2200 F, which means your forge can very well be hotter then the fires of mount doom :) Clean it before and after use.

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An ash dump works pretty well too to get rid of all fines, clinker etc.

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Iv got a cover/hood that does that sort of. Just a large sheet of plain steel sheet bent inwards to make traps that sits on the top of the bricks the problem is anytime you have a true reducing atmosphere you also trap the ash because theres no air escaping

Might i add borax makes lava real quick.

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Please explain the hood trapping the ash again using different words or photographs. 

 

On ‎1‎/‎29‎/‎2019 at 10:35 AM, Sly said:

I use the oil primarily to kick up the flames before adding fresh coals to the top, helps suck the oxygen from underneath as well. in this case I tried to add coals add a little oil add coals and got fifteen minutes of smoke and no so called fireball, even then iv never had anything that dramatic like you describe happen in my forging experience... ever.

The list of things that can go wrong using accelerates is very long. 

There is NO REASON to use accelerates to get a fire going in a solid fuel forge. If the material is wet, then get dry materials for the fire. There is NO REASON to kick up the flames as you add more fuel. If the fire has died down, you should have added new fuel sooner. Or rebuild the fire with kindling as you would with a new fire.

Accelerates to get a fire going or to add to an existing fire is a VERY BAD idea.

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If the fire has died down..  No need to do any of these things..   Just take an old dried out broom handle, kindling, or any other piece of scrap wood and stick into the lower middle of the fire and give it a second or 2 then start to bring on the blast slowly.. You'll have a new fire in a heart beat.. 

Also if you are going to be away from the soft coal forge or even a coke or hard coal forge for awhile take that same chunk of wood and stick it in there.. Give it a few cranks to see some smoke, shut everything down and pile on some new fresh fuel..   

When you return just give it some soft air and it will perk back to life..   

This also works for the harder fuels.. 

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That trick of putting some wood or lump charcoal in the fire and banking it when leaving it for a while was taught to me by Ike Doss in '85. I've shown it to new folks and they are amazed at how well it works.:)

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 I learned it by mistake...  I was maybe 13 or 14 and had been making a blade and was time to harden it, so I put a piece of 2X4 in to build up a cave fire (Hollow) and burn the wood out so I could slide the blade in and out easily without disturbing the clay coating.. 

I had finished the job and pushed the few pieces of charcoal back in the hole and shut it down but left it all together..  I left for a few hours came back and wanted to start the forge again..  I gave it a few cranks and noticed it was still putting out sparks..   

Roared back to like in an instant saving me 10 minutes between tear down and restart.. 

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Another way is to dump your ash, leave your ash dump open a bit, and poke a hole with your poker thru the top of your coke. It only takes a small, clear opening top to bottom to allow air to pass thru to keep your fire alive. 

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On that note..  

If you start a forge and have not worked in the fire much after starting it and you have a lot of green coal in it..

You will get heavy smoke ( cool Coal smoke is heavier than air) working its way down the tuyere and into the pipe, blower, bellows what ever have you..    Which when you then crank, pump or put air back to the fire,  depending can lead to a small explosion as the volatile gases hit the fire and an burn back, with the possibility of exploding a seam in the bellows.. 

As pointed out leave the ash dump open and this problem will be avoided.. 

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On 2/21/2019 at 7:26 PM, jlpservicesinc said:

put a piece of 2X4 in to build up a cave fire (Hollow) and burn the wood out 

Brilliantly simple idea that I wish I had thought of a long time ago - thanks!

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With a coal fire in the open fireplace at home, they used to stir out some of the ash to get air to the hot coals, add a bit of green coal. Get that started real good and then dump on a quantity of green coal on the fire. Cover the entire fire with the coal ashes from below the grate, and go to bed.  In the morning you just poke the fire to let the ashes drop out the bottom of the grate and you have hot coals to start the days fire. They called it banking the fire.

It is amazing how long a fire will stay hot when at idle.  Overnight is common, a full day later is doable. And this is an open hearth fireplace.

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Back in the day I would go on survival days.. On these days I would cover about 10-15mile per day going from one camp site to the next.. Took about 3 days to make the rounds.. 

I banked up a fire once that I knew I would be back to and 3 days later still had a charcoal ember that I was able to get back to life..  

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Don't get so comfortable with a tool or process that you're tempted to take short cuts.  

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As Father used to say, "Familiarity breeds contempt." He said that so often I got sick of hearing it. Truer words were never said though, I have the: plates, pins and screws to prove it. 

Another of his sayings was, "You have to respect it but you can't fear it." It being whatever you were doing or using, location, etc.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Kal, I agree completely. At the rubber refinery I worked at I seen a lot of the old timers doing things that were very dangerous at times. Not all of them mind you but a few and their attitude was I've been doing this for thirty years so mind your own business and let me get on with my work. After so many years standing in front of the mill they felt like they could operate it in their sleep. One gentleman in particular got too comfortable and lost his focus just long enough to also lose three fingers. He was the longest serving millman in plant. Goes to show what complacency can get you. 

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Buying cheap tools.  Buy the very best you can save up for.  A cheap hammer is just a cheap hammer. 

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Don't buy cheap, but don't hesitate to buy inexpensive if it's good quality.

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Experience will teach you to judge quality, till then buy good quality.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Don't beat it like it owes you money.  Controlled strikes using necessary force, and planish when it's cooling. (I learned this the hard way.)

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dont be afraid to research things, search buttons on this site and every other exist for a reason and getting new ideas is never a bad thing.

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Use google's search engine to do the work for you. Type in search for "xxxxxxxxxxx" and let it do it's thing. If you want to narrow things down type in search for "xxxxxxxxxxx on iforgeiron.com" and google will search that site for "xxxxxxxxxxx".

That just opens the door. Read several of the hits and then narrow the search using specific words or phrases you have found and do another search. This will narrow the information down even more. Repeat as needed until you get the information you seek.

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